The United Nations is pushing gun control on a global scale, and President Obama is on board. Just a few hours after re-election was assured, the president’s representative cast a vote for the Arms Trade Treaty at a U.N. committee meeting. The loosely drafted agreement doesn’t go after guns directly, but the language enables activist judges to get creative in restricting Americans’ exercise of their Second Amendment rights. A final General Assembly decision on the treaty is expected in March, and House Republicans are locked and loaded to stop it.
Rep. Mike Kelly introduced a resolution earlier this month urging the president not to sign the treaty. “If we don’t enshrine this Constitution and these amendments, then we are in great danger of losing them,” the freshman Pennsylvania Republican said in an interview with The Washington Times. “People need to understand that we are constantly under aggressive acts to take these rights away from us, and it’s done in such a way that people don’t see it coming.”
Mr. Kelly’s measure expresses the sense of Congress that the treaty undermines basic constitutional rights because it fails to recognize the rights to own guns for self-defense, hunting and other shooting sports. “Why in the world would a country with the gold standard on gun policy go to the table with countries like Syria and Iran?” asked Mr. Kelly. “We should say, ‘Use our policy as a model, but don’t ask us to dilute what we already have.’”
The left tries to downplay the very real consequences of approving this terrible treaty. The agreement’s reporting requirements, for example, could severely hurt firearm and ammunition manufacturers — the rare industries that are doing well in this economy. Lawrence Keane, general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said the organization is closely monitoring treaty discussions.
“If all of the controls desired by some countries and anti-gun groups were included in a treaty it would be exceedingly costly to our industry without, in our view, advancing the goal of reducing illegal diversion of arms to conflict zones,” said Mr. Keane.
Mr. Kelly’s bill awaits a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This marks the second time members of Congress have tried to get Mr. Obama’s attention regarding their concerns about the treaty.
In June, Mr. Kelly and 130 fellow members wrote the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking that the treaty exclude small arms and ammunition; include the recognition of an individual’s right to self defense; and allow America to support allies such as Taiwan and Israel with arms. Neither the White House nor the State Department have responded to the representatives’ letter.
The United States should never be a party to an international deal that threatens our fundamental right to keep and bear arms. House leaders need to move swiftly to get this bill passed before Mr. Obama has a chance to sign on the dotted line.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.